10 Coaching Academy lads complete final day on referees course with AFA trainers.

Now to complete 5 matches and refs exam.

Well done boys.

Refs course sponsored by Merton FC.


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A rather strange game this for a number of reasons. It started in the usual way with our 12 selected becoming 10 with one cry off and one missing en route. Otherwise a strong looking team.  I missed the first 20 mins of the game as I went to collect the extra player and got back to find we had eleven and were 1-0 down to a dodgy penalty but otherwise were holding our own against a strong Carshalton side. We got to half time only 1 down and had the wind with us in the second half. Despite plans and exhortations at half time Merton started the second half sleepwalking and conceded a pen almost straight away. 2-0 then the game took a curious turn with Merton unashamedly playing the long ball over the top against a somewhat slow back four and scoring three goals (Will T 2 and Dom) in about 10 mins to take a surprising lead. 3-2 could have become 4-2 but the ref disallowed a goal for offside always tricky with no linos and a nailed on penalty when Will T was through for his hat trick. A screamer from about 25yds brought Cars their equaliser which in all fairness was the correct result. Cars were a good side with a lot of movement and it has to be said the pitch was in great condition and made me very envious. The ref took far too many decisions without ever being in control of the game. The 2s need to win a few games soon or we are down and out.

Posted in Match Reports 2s

In the build-up to the match against Ibis, the Merton 4s had been offered a choice of venue. The pitches on Tudor Drive had been surprisingly decent the previous week, albeit that Merton had succumbed to a disappointing 3-2 defeat to HSBC there. So they were favoured over the Wimbledon Common Extensions. Sadly, though, they had been hammered by the rain in the build-up, and looked a bit worse for wear upon arrival.

Sadder still was Merton’s own build-up to the kick-off. Late arrivals meant there was no time for a proper warmup, and the lads began the game with 10 men, including the much anticipated return of a slightly ring-rusty Doddsy, who hadn’t played since November.

And the Yellows looked exactly like a team who was cold and unprepared in the opening exchanges – so much so, that no one was particularly surprised that Ibis registered a goal inside three minutes. The goal itself had the intensity of a training ground exercise. A couple of triangle passes exposed the vast swathes of space in front of them, and a neat through ball left the striker with just Sam to beat. He made no mistake. 1-0. Too Easy.

Fortunately, the cavalry arrived a couple of minutes later, and back up to full strength (and full numbers), Merton began to dig in. Although they were still getting somewhat overrun, the defence showed good shape and discipline in the face of the onslaught, and for all their dominance, the visitors didn’t really carve out much in the way of clear-cut opportunities.

At the other end, chances were few and far between, but some good interplay did set Dulanie through on one occasion. Unfortunately his well-hit strike sailed just over the crossbar – the keeper seemingly not too interested in knowing much about it.

Merton continued to be dogged in their defensive work though, sticking to their task. Alas, with about 5 minutes to go before the break, the Ibis striker managed to double their advantage, as a blocked clearance fell kindly to him in the box; his finish leaving Sam with no chance.

At the break, the lads were a little bit flat, despite only being 2 goals down. Of course, on the previous occasion that these two sides had met, Ibis clawed back a three-goal deficit in the last 15 minutes to steal a draw. Could Merton do something similar, and get their revenge?

Unfortunately not. They started the second half poorly, and the goals flew in. Four of them in fact. Details on the goals? Hazy. They all happened so quickly that they kind of merged into one.  The third was a bit unlucky, as, on the edge of the box, Merton got a touch on a pass in a bid to intercept, but the ball merely fell fortuitously for an unintended player in red, and he stroked it home.

After that, a hapless Merton outfit watched on as the net continued to bulge. Four, Five. Six. One was a scorcher to beat Sam at his near post, another a deflected free kick. The other – hold my hands up, can’t remember it for the life of me. Nevertheless, at 6-0 with 20 minutes still to go, it had the makings of another cricket score-type humiliation.

But for once, the heads didn’t drop. Maybe Ibis took their foot off the gas, but Merton started to do some good things. They passed the ball around, they harried in defence, and, at long last, began to carry a goal threat. And after some sustained pressure, the goal finally came. Dom put a lovely through ball in to Jake, who did ever so well to beat his man and get to the byline. He then put in an excellent cross, and Ryan, who had made a lot of ground to get into the penalty area, slid in bravely and slotted the ball home. 6-1.

Buoyed by this consolation, Merton got even better, and forced a couple of corners. And the second one was a thing of beauty. With a sea of yellow jerseys in the box, Mikey thumped his set piece in high, handsome and curling. Amid the melee – and a very cunning block on the keeper by Scholesy – the ball simply sailed straight into the goal. 6-2, and there were smiles in Yellow everywhere now.

Despite the still-embarrassing score line, Merton began to look as though they were starting to really enjoy themselves, and although the game was gone, were beginning to rattle Ibis in the closing minutes. Unfortunately no more goals were forthcoming, and the referee called time on what was, overall, still a forgettable encounter.

A shame too, as a season in which Merton had really started to hit their straps midway through appears to be rather petering out. Safe from relegation, perhaps, but this team knows they are better than the recent performances they have been putting in. One more match against HSBC left in order to finish on a high note. It really has become a must-win game to restore some pride and confidence in this team.

FINAL SCORE: Merton 4s 2 – 6 Ibis Eagles 4s SCORERS: Ryan Burchell, Mike Elgar MOTM: Ryan Burchell

STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), Ryan Burchell, Mike Todt, Steve Burchell (Jake Hewitt) Edward Plaistow, Chris Outred (Capt.), Chris Dodd (Mike Elgar), Glen Porter, Billy Dowie, Dulanie Richards, Dom Plumridge.


Posted in Match Reports 4s

Merton were once again left to wonder what might have been as they took back only one point from North London despite having the best of the chances.
Pre-match preparation was less than ideal. Lofty was forced to pull out with a pulled arse, on his birthday, no less. Darcy caused some confusion (and garnered some DOTD nominations in the process) by joking that the game was off. Mustard decided the meet time was later than stated and played Zelda whilst the rest of the squad were travelling. Darcy and Tony also missed the meet time by some distance (even though they left at 11.30!) Then, with it being a month since the boars had last played, with players spending the last few weeks appearing for other teams, we all collectively forgot the need for kit and had to borrow one (yellow, as it turned out) from the obliging home team.
All of this turned out to be more or less irrelevant as Merton started the game well on top against the bare 11 Finchleans side. Vin and Mike were playing the ball out from the back with confidence, Ryan and Darcy were dominating the centre of the pitch, and with Merton having the bulk of possession, the chances began to flow.
First, some robust tackling saw Mike Reed pass in-field to Dan, whose turn and shot was deflected wide for a corner. Then Ryan broke up play in the centre of the pitch, passed to Dan, who slid the ball in to Denys to shoot from inside the box. The keeper blocked. At the other end, the only chances were coming from Merton mistakes as we sometimes overplayed, with risky square passes going to the opposition on a couple of occasions.
Merton continued to dominate, with Neal Davison providing a great out-ball on the right at the top of the hill. Two chances came from this in quick succession. First, some neat passing found Neal out on the right who played in a first time ball behind the full-back for Dan to run on to. His cross found Denys at the far post, but he wasn’t quite set/expecting it and struck the ball wide from a good position. Next, a barnstorming run from Mike Stone saw him take the ball out of defence via some neat skill and a one-two or two, then find Neal out on the right and then collect a return pass as he stormed into the box. Unfortunately, after mostly admiring Mike’s work for the previous 60 yards, a Finchleans player decided they should probably make a tackle at this point, and the chance was gone.
Next, Denys returned the earlier pass from Dan with a deft flick into his path on the edge of the box. Dan took a touch to take the ball out of his feet and was poised to strike the ball when Dave Scott appeared from nowhere and took aim as well. Cue some gentlemanly “after you”, or “pointless dithering”, depending on your view point, before Dave took a touch and struck for goal. His somewhat bobbly shot may or may not have been tipped on to the post by the keeper, depending on who you talk to.
It didn’t look like it was going to be Merton’s day, but almost immediately after this Merton took the lead. More sharp passing involving Dave, Darcy and Ryan saw Dan receive the ball to feet on the edge of the area, and a beautifully disguised short pass played in Darcy. He confidently took aim at the top right corner, then dragged the shot past the deceived keeper into the bottom left. 1-0.
Merton expected to kick on and win the game, but instead it was Finchleans who responded. A few needless fouls gave Finchleans a series of free kicks, and they took advantage with a lofted free kick/cross towards the back post that somehow crept into the net via a small deflection. Conspiracy theories abounded as to how this happened (we were too deep? not deep enough? we should have attacked the ball, should the keeper have claimed it) but however it happened vs a team with an average height of about 4 ft 6, it was agreed it was a poor goal to concede. 1-1.
Buoyed by this Finchleans had their best spell of the game, and their no. 9 celebrated this by kicking Mike Stone in the head from their next free kick. There was quite a bit of blood, and Mike was forced to come off to get patched up by Ryan’s dad and then head to hospital for a stitch or three. Paul Welch, making his long-awaited comeback, came on in his stead and Merton got to half-time without any further damage.
At the half time team, Merton were confident of victory, stressing the need to put away our chances and keep playing football. In the event, however, we struggled to create much in the second half. The steep slope meant our previously successful tactic of playing down the right instead resulted in a series of congested throw-ins down the line, and we struggled to switch the play as we did in the first half, with Dave Scott sorely underused down the left. However, there were still a number of chances to relate, for both teams.
Merton’s best chances came mid-way through the half. First, Tony burst forward from right back, breaking through two tackles and heading towards the edge of the box. Ignoring pleas for a pass, instead he then twisted and turned his way past two more desperate tackles before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box that the keeper did well to tip over. Our second big chance saw Dave, Denys and Ryan work the ball across the pitch to play in Neal down the right. Cutting in from the corner of the 18 yard box, his cross-shot neatly split the difference between bottom corner finish and square ball to Dan and the chance was lost.
Merton were looking leggy in the second half, and Finchleans also had their chances, most notably when they got in down their left following a swift counter and bore down on goal. Besty was quickly off his line and did well to close down the angles, smothering the shot and bravely claiming the rebound at the feet of the striker.
Elsewhere on the pitch, a couple of notable incidents to relate. Mustard had a very quiet game, with not a sniff of a sod, but did at one point calmly cushion a header back to the keeper under considerable pressure. Composure. Paul Welch was utterly solid throughout in a great comeback game, at one point sprinting across the pitch to close down a Finchleans player, taking man, ball and anything else in the vicinity with a satisfying thump. Finally, Darcy danced/stumbled his way into the area following fine work from Denys, only to air-kick the bobbling ball when a square pass would have seen Ryan tap into an open goal.
Merton pressed to the end, but ultimately ran a little out of steam and had to settle for the draw. The game should have been won in the first half, but a chance for immediate redemption comes next week vs the same opponents.
MOTM: Ryan Gresty
DOTD: Either Mustard for being late and getting the most votes, or Denys for not voting for DOTD. It wasn’t entirely clear.
Team (4-4-2)
Besty (GK)
Mike Reed
Mike Stone
Vincenzo Di Matteo
Tony Postlethwaite
Neal Davison
Darcy Yates
Ryan Gresty
Dave Scott
Dan Kelly
Denys Zhurby
Paul Welch
Posted in Match Reports 3s

Todays Results. In the only games played our Under 11s (pic) beat Claygate Royals 7-3 and U14s lost 5-0 to Kew Assoc. The U10s Cup Final is on Sunday April 17th against Kingston Town Kings at Carshalton Athletic Ground 11.30 Kick off.


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Today. 1s pick up valuable 3pts with a 3-1 win at Lloyds Warren (Al G and Tom Rowe (2) with the goals. 2s draw 3-3 with Carshalton on a very nice pitch at Beddington. Goals from Dom and Will t (2). 3s draw 1-1 away at Old Finchs. 4s lost 6 – 2 at home to Ibis Eagle s 4s, goals from Ryan Burchell and Mike Elgar. 5s lost 5 – 1 away to Bank of England 5s, only goal came from Dwayne Bedford.

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